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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 19, 2012

The magic number is 10 for Guilderland lacrosse
By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– Ten goals seem to be an important figure for the Dutchmen lacrosse team. Guilderland has scored 10 or more goals in its four wins and has been held under 10 in its three losses.

On Saturday, the Dutch scored 11 goals in a convincing win over Colonie. On Tuesday, Guilderland scored only four times while surrendering 16 goals to Niskayuna.

During Saturday’s home contest against Colonie, Head Coach Sean McConaghy had requested at least 10 goals from Guilderland. The Dutch had a 3-to-1 lead at halftime.

“It’s just a number that I thought would be good for us to have if we want to win,” McConaghy said after the 11-to-2 triumph over Colonie. “It’s a double-digit number. We can win with that.”

Last Thursday, Guilderland lost to Shenendehowa, 9 to 7. On April 5, the Dutch beat Bethlehem, 10 to 4.

Senior Connor Drislane, who scored two goals and had two assists against Colonie, said that the Shenendehowa game should have been a win. “When we start shooting well, and the score goes up,” he said, “we get the momentum and take it with us.”

The Dutchmen started to find holes in the Red Raiders’ defense during the third quarter after a challenging first half. Guilderland found its vision on offense.

The Dutch scored four consecutive goals in the final four minutes of the third quarter to take a 7-to-2 lead. The run started with a nice check by Conor Gallup to get possession back at midfield, and Drislane finished it off on the break. Then, Taylor Dubose scored on a nifty shot inside the goal post, followed by Connor McLachlin, assisted by Dubose.

Finally, Cody Dyer put in a low shot with five seconds left on the third-quarter clock. Colonie was unable to find the net, scoreless for the last 21 minutes of play.

“We started running a different offense because they (Colonie) were playing us in zone,” said Dyer, who scored another goal in the fourth quarter. “We took one or two guys behind the cage and tried to find holes up top, passing the ball to cutters.”

With a big lead, Dyer tried to get fancy by attempting a behind-the-back shot on goal. It didn’t come close, but demonstrated how comfortable the Dutch were.

“Closer games are fun, too, with all the adrenaline going,” Drislane said. “It’s an exciting sport.”

Guilderland took care of the ball and was patient. The open man was there to put the ball into the back of the net.

“We were, for sure, not tired in the second half,” said McConaghy. “We kept the pressure on and played great team defense.”

Dyer told The Enterprise that before Saturday’s game, Coach McConaghy was stressing the importance of clearing the ball. Dyer believed that Guilderland hadn’t been clearing too well in previous contests, but Saturday was a little better.

“It’s just passing and catching,” said Dyer of clearing, which is terminology for moving the ball out of the defensive zone. “It’s pretty simple if you go to the right spots.”

The Dutchmen picked up more ground balls than Colonie, which marked the first time this season that Guilderland got more 50/50 ground balls than the other team. More ground balls means more offensive possessions.

“We’re caring for the ball, moving it quickly and cleanly,” McConaghy said. “Possession is a big thing in lacrosse.”

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